Dr George Ogg Gauld was born in Aberdeen on 21 June 1873; educated at his home city’s Grammar School and University, he studied medicine and qualified as a doctor around 1900.
A right-handed batsman and a fast right-arm bowler, Gauld played cricket for Aberdeenshire between 1900 and 1902 when his personal highlights were bowling figures of 7-9 against Forfarshire and 5-6 against Blairgowrie. He was also an accomplished rugby union player and appeared in a final international trial match while in Scotland.
In 1902 Dr Gauld moved to Elvington in Yorkshire and practised there until 1909, during which time his cricketing activities included appearances for the Yorkshire Gentlemen – although, as the Nottingham Evening Post later reported, ‘he learnt practically all his cricket on his native soil’.
He moved to Nottingham in 1909 and took over a medical practice in the city; he also joined Notts Amateurs CC and achieved some notable success as a batsman and bowler, including a hat trick in 1911 when he hit the off, middle and leg stumps with consecutive deliveries, and a score of 154 against Uppingham School in June 1913.
Gauld was not to go unnoticed by the Notts Committee, who were searching for an amateur cricketer to lead the team in place of the ailing AO Jones. The Evening Post noted that ‘Dr Gauld is in rare batting form, having scored two or three centuries this season’ – and on 30 June 1913 the Scotsman became the county’s fourth captain that season, making his First-Class debut against Championship leaders Kent at Trent Bridge.
In this match Gauld won the toss and elected to bat, scoring a patient 20 runs in 45 minutes before Notts were all out for 266. Kent had a 23-run advantage after their first innings – during which Gauld’s only victim was the long-serving Fred Huish – and Notts’ subsequent score of 224, in which the captain was bowled without scoring, left Kent with a victory target of just 212. When the visitors reached 105 for 4 a routine victory appeared in prospect, but despite stubborn resistance from the Kent batsmen some late-order wickets for Ted Alletson saw Notts to an unlikely 62-run victory. The Evening Post hailed a ‘thoroughly well deserved’ success and reported that ‘In leading the team to a notable victory in his first match Gauld deserves hearty congratulation, and throughout the game he handled his forces splendidly.’
The doctor then led his adopted county in the next seven matches – three of which were won – before handing over a partially-recovered AO Jones for the final two fixtures of the 1913 season.
History was to repeat itself the following year, when Jones struggled through the first six matches before bringing a notable cricketing career to a sad conclusion. In the subsequent 15 Championship matches Notts were led by four different replacements, with Dr Gauld captaining the side on five occasions, all at Trent Bridge. In these five matches the only victory – in addition to two draws and two defeats – came against Derbyshire, when Gauld made his highest First-Class score of 90 balls in only 65 minutes.
During the First World War Dr Gauld acted as the Honorary Medical Officer to the Pavilion Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital that the British Red Cross established in the two pavilions at Trent Bridge, while he also appeared in a number of charity cricket matches played at the ground. For instance, he guested for the City Police against the Special Constables in July 1915 (being described by the Evening Post as one of “the constables on probation”!); he raised a side to play against former captain JA Dixon’s XI in August 1915; and he top-scored for the Mayor’s XI in their defeat to the Sherriff’s XI in August 1917.
Gauld returned to club cricket after the war, but he did make one final First-Class appearance when he led Notts to a draw against the Australian Imperial Forces XI in July 1919. He also played two matches for the MCC – in 1920 against Northumberland & Durham, and in 1920 against Durham – although his combined match figures (of two scoreless innings, 32 runs and no wickets for 79 runs in 25 overs) failed to do him justice.
In his 14 First-Class matches for Notts, Gauld scored 350 runs at an average of 18.42, while taking nine catches and claiming five wickets for 250 runs. He also made a solitary appearance for the Notts Second XI – at the age of 52, and not as captain – against Staffordshire in August 1925, alongside a teenage Frank Shipston and a 20-year old Walter Keeton.
Dr Gauld had joined the Notts Committee in 1920, and from 1922 to 1935 he was also the Club’s Honorary Secretary. He resigned the latter post in the furore that followed the withdrawal of Bill Voce from the county’s match against the Australians (see the player profile for Voce). The Evening Post noted that ‘On his resignation he received a letter of tribute for his work for the club signed by members from all walks of life’, and he remained on the Notts Committee until 1947.
Dr Gauld continued playing regularly for Notts Amateurs until the outbreak of the Second World War, and he even played one post-war match after reaching the age of 70. He was also a member of the Nottingham Trustee Savings Bank’s Management Committee in the 1940s.
In his professional life Gauld was President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society in 1933-34 and he practised in the city – for a while assisted by his son, who had also qualified as a doctor – until his retirement in 1946. He then moved to Kent but returned to Nottingham after about a year, and he helped various doctors in the city up to the day before his death on 16 June 1950 at the age of 76.
The respect in which he was held at Trent Bridge was indicated by the black armbands worn by Notts players and the club flag at half-mast during the match against the West Indies, and at his funeral Dr Gauld was described as “a good Christian man, a good doctor, and a good sportsman.”
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 312